Managing the balancing act between climate protection and competitiveness18/10/2023
Transformation Quarterly 03_2023
Germany’s economy is in crisis. After slipping into recession at the beginning of the year, it stagnated in the second quarter. Inflation has been dampening consumer sentiment, and other indicators also suggest that the economy is struggling significantly – with no improvement in sight anytime soon.
In this third issue of our Transformation Quarterly in 2023, we look at how policymakers and industry can find a way out of the economic slump in the areas of climate and energy, and the importance of strategic communications within this context.
We spoke to Michael Vassiliadis, head of the German Mining, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Union, about the proposal to introduce an “industrial electricity price” in Germany. On the same topic, the article written by our Senior Partner Volker Heck maps out how companies have to navigate a politically difficult environment and why a detailed roadmap is needed to counter any hurdles in advance.
In our interview with Bastian Gierull, head of energy provider Octopus Energy, we hear why the doom and gloom about our industrial location is not helpful and why start-ups like Octopus Energy are a hitherto underestimated part of the solution. Housing company LEG is not a start-up, but one of the largest landlords in Germany. At its Parliamentary Evening in Berlin, LEG and its partner companies presented their solutions for the housing market in Germany to political stakeholders and expressed clear demands to politicians. In her article, Cathrin Sengpiel, one of our company managing directors, picks up on this to discus the communications challenges involved in the delicate balancing act between protecting the climate and competitiveness.
The increasing importance (and price) of energy and climate-relevant indicators creates a conflict of objectives par excellence for companies: on the one hand, they have to invest in climate neutrality and accelerate their efforts on the pathway to zero; on the other, they face increasing cost pressure, which weakens value creation and competitiveness – and in turn makes investments more difficult. This conflict of objectives requires an intensive and fact-oriented dialogue between policymakers, business and society. For companies, this means repeatedly and credibly clarifying their path and contribution to climate neutrality – but at the same time self-confidently influencing the necessary framework conditions without falling back into old industrial policy demand patterns. This balancing act requires companies to be sensitive in their communications and constantly adaptable within shifting spheres of opinion. If they achieve this, they can secure acceptance by policymakers and society for both climate and value-creation goals.
I hope you take pleasure and inspiration from reading this Transformation Quarterly. And if you have anything you would like to add to the discussion, please feel free to write to us. We look forward to exchanging ideas with you!
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Contact the team
Serkan Agci, Managing Director
H/Advisors Deekeling Arndt